The big week of conference action is here for the Laramie Rangers, as they host the Sheridan Troopers in a single, nine-inning game today at Cowboy Field.

Laramie (28-16) hasn’t played in 13 days after a doubleheader at Alliance, NE was cancelled last week. Their last action was a 17-16 loss in a nine-inning game at Casper July 5.

Rangers’ manager Brandon Ruckman says he hopes the team is rested and ready to go.

“I just hope we can really focus up and buy in this last week. We’ve only got two weeks left, hopefully three. We really just need to give it all we have. We’ll see what happens.”

This is the week that Ruckman has been pointing to all season. While wins have been great, his goal was to get better each day and be ready for this week of conference games. He knows they’ll be facing good competition.

“Anytime you’re playing Sheridan, Cheyenne and Gillette in the same week, that’s a tough week. Pitchers need to be on point. You really can’t make too many mistakes.”

Headed into conference play, the Rangers have yet to play Sheridan or Gillette this season. Laramie is 1-5 against Cheyenne Post 6.

Ruckman points out that these nine-inning games are long and you can’t afford to give up. It’s about playing consistent baseball and knowing it's a battle of attrition.

“No one player can usually win that game for you. It’s going to take a whole team effort. I mean that is the good thing about ‘em (nine-inning games). It’s a little rough on the smaller squads, like us. We just don’t have the pitching that some of bigger squads have… The kids that we do have, I think that they’re ready. I think they’ve bought into the program, and I think they’ll give us a good chance at beating those three teams.”

Sheridan was the 2017 “AA” state runner-up and brings back everyone from that team. They are 38-19 on the season.

Today’s game will be the first at home for Laramie in 19 days. They will also host Cheyenne Post 6 Thursday in their home finale before heading to Gillette Saturday to close out conference action.

First pitch for the Rangers and Troopers is at 4 p.m. from Cowboy Field. You can listen to the game with live coverage from KOWB. David Settle will call the game with coverage at 3:45 p.m.

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